Securing Our Elections
Rep. Zoe Lofgren is Chair of the Committee on House Administration, the primary Congressional committee charged with oversight of federal elections.
2016 Election Background
During the 2016 Presidential election, Russia launched a massive cyber-attack against the U.S. to undermine faith in American democracy.
The U.S. intelligence community concluded that the Russians interfered in our 2016 elections and has warned repeatedly that they plan to do so again. Special Counsel Robert Mueller made clear that our country suffered ‘multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election’ in 2016.
The Mueller report details that Russian military officers: ‘targeted individuals and entities involved in the administration of elections. Victims included U.S. state and local entities, such as state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and county governments, as well as individuals who worked for those entities.’
While the President has refused to hold Russia accountable, and Congressional Republicans have failed to take action to protect our elections, Chair Lofgren has led the House in passing critical legislation to protect the security and integrity of our nation’s elections.
House Democrats’ first act in the Majority was to advance H.R. 1, the For The People Act – a bill Chair Lofgren led the House in passing – which would help secure our elections.
H.R. 1 provides the support states need to protect the integrity of our elections against foreign interference, ensures confidence in election results by implementing risk-limiting audits, and requires that election infrastructure vendors meet appropriate security standards.
House Democrats built on the progress of H.R. 1 with the Securing America’s Federal Elections, or, the SAFE Act, a bill Chair Lofgren authored to take decisive action to secure our federal elections from outside interference and brings our election security into the 21st Century.
The SAFE Act makes meaningful investments to upgrade the security of voting systems across the country by:
- replacing outdated, vulnerable voting machines;
- requiring paper ballot voting systems;
- enacting strong cybersecurity requirements for election technology vendors and voting systems;
- implementing risk-limiting audits, a critical tool to ensuring the integrity of elections.
The SAFE Act represents an urgent, critical step to securing our election infrastructure and protecting the integrity of the ballot and our democracy.
Most Americans know that foreign governments have no business interfering in our elections. Instead, the Trump campaign and White House have welcomed and repeatedly solicited foreign assistance for his political activities. This behavior is unacceptable, and it is telling that the White House has gone to great lengths to hide it from the American people.
To protect our elections from this dishonest behavior, the House passed Chair Lofgren's bill, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy, or, the SHIELD Act, to protect our elections from foreign interference and disinformation campaigns.
The SHIELD Act protects our elections from foreign interference and dishonest behavior by:
- Creating a duty to report illicit offers of campaign assistance from foreign governments and their agents.
- Improving transparency of online political advertisements.
- Closing loopholes that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to spend in U.S. elections.
- Restricting the exchange of campaign information between candidates and foreign governments and their agents.
- Prohibiting deceptive practices about voting procedures.
Senator Mitch McConnell has all but guaranteed none of these important bills will receive a vote on the Senate floor, shamefully choosing partisan politics over protecting the security and integrity of our nation’s elections.
House Democrats – on the other hand – will continue to honor the oath we take to defend America’s security against all threats, both foreign and domestic.
We should all be able to agree that we need to protect our democracy, and with a sense of urgency. This is not a partisan opinion. Nothing less than our national security is at stake.